Tsvangirai and the Guardian get signals crossed

YOAV LEMMER/AFP/Getty Images The strident op-ed attributed to Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in yesterday’s Guardian made headlines around the world (and led yesterday’s Morning Brief) with its unusually strong call for international intervention to oust Robert Mugabe. Today, however, the Guardian has removed the piece from the Internet and published a letter from Tsvangirai ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
594428_080626_tsvangirai5.jpg
594428_080626_tsvangirai5.jpg

YOAV LEMMER/AFP/Getty Images

The strident op-ed attributed to Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in yesterday's Guardian made headlines around the world (and led yesterday's Morning Brief) with its unusually strong call for international intervention to oust Robert Mugabe. Today, however, the Guardian has removed the piece from the Internet and published a letter from Tsvangirai disavowing its arguments:

An article that appeared in my name, published in the Guardian (Why I am not running, June 25), did not reflect my position or opinions regarding solutions to the Zimbabwean crisis. Although the Guardian was given assurances from credible sources that I had approved the article this was not the case.

YOAV LEMMER/AFP/Getty Images

The strident op-ed attributed to Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in yesterday’s Guardian made headlines around the world (and led yesterday’s Morning Brief) with its unusually strong call for international intervention to oust Robert Mugabe. Today, however, the Guardian has removed the piece from the Internet and published a letter from Tsvangirai disavowing its arguments:

An article that appeared in my name, published in the Guardian (Why I am not running, June 25), did not reflect my position or opinions regarding solutions to the Zimbabwean crisis. Although the Guardian was given assurances from credible sources that I had approved the article this was not the case.

By way of clarification I would like to state the following: I am not advocating military intervention in Zimbabwe by the UN or any other organisation. The MDC is committed to finding an African solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe and appreciates the work of the [Southern African Development Community] in this regard.

There’s been no explanation from the Guardian as to how the original op-ed was obtained or who actually wrote it. The NYT’s Mike Nizza has more on the strange retraction.

For more on the international community’s response to Mugabe, check out what former deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz has to say in a new exclusive interview with FP. Wolfowitz, who has had a bit of experience with military intervention, favors a softer approach for Zimbabwe.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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